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Singing Wheels


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Story: Morgan Gibney and James Prindle. Director: H.L. Roberts. Photographer: Orlando Lippert and George Hoover. Music: Edwin E. Ludig. Lyrics: Maurice H. Stoller.


Run time 23:20
Producer H.L. Roberts
Production Company Wilding Productions, Inc.
Sponsor Motor Truck Committee of Automobile Manufacturers Association
Audio/Visual sound, b&w

Reviews

Reviewer: longfade - - July 9, 2010
Subject: Gorgeous vehicles, at least.
I don't know anything about old trucks, but even given that this is a joy to watch, just to see these wonderful examples of craftsmanship and style. Excellent shots of myriad highways and cities too.

What confuses me is, to quote Ed Harris in Glengarry Glen Ross, "what is this in aid of"?

It was released in 1946, and sponsored by the Automobile Manufacturer's Association. You notice how the narrator is not talking about truckers, he's talking about TRUCKS - to the extent that the script personifies them as if they were noble, living beasts of burden acting selflessly of their own volition. It's not until over 16 minutes in that they toss 4 minutes to the actual truck operator. That's why I wonder what the intent of this piece was. From February 1942 to October 1945 production of cars, commercial trucks, and auto parts was frozen by the War Production Board, this is probably an effort to stimulate buyers' enthusiasm and to remind them of the AMA's contribution to "keeping America free and safe" etc.
Reviewer: Spuzz - - June 7, 2005
Subject: Where's my magazines and rayon panties?
Endless movie about the trucking industry. Believe you me, about 2 minutes into this, I knew that this was going to be a long haul (excuse the pun). Yes! Truckers go day and night! shipping all sorts of goods! They have to mechanically sound! Let's go to the plant! And well, if you thought 'Singing Wheels' title meant that there would be a song or two, well you would be right.
Reviewer: Visual16 - - September 9, 2004
Subject: A fun film!
Singing Wheels has to be one of the central films of the Prelinger Archives. This one has it all - great ephemeral footage of highways and trucks, a serious toned narration about the importance of the trucking industry, and a really dumb song you can't get out of your head. What would happen if ALL the trucks suddenly disappeared? Boy, would we all be in trouble! Don't worry, it was just a bad dream!!

Film gets a little slow when they interview the "typical" truck driver to show how alert and nice he is. He recites all of the right answers to a stern interviewer as if applying for a new job. This doesn't prove much but might have convinced people of the time that they were good fellows.
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